As a music streaming platform, content sits at the heart of what we do, and specifically with audio. As the pandemic hit, our strategy on content evolved across most of our company pillars. We’ve brought forward Anghami Studios to offer people musical content; whether it’s via our digital assets, through our partners or by creating new forms of storytelling for brands.
The best place to start is at the beginning. As the lockdowns hit, we envisaged that people would be spending more time at home, connected to their digital products with an appetite for more content. This posed an interesting challenge. On one hand, people are more receptive to content, but on the other hand, only good content would stand out because of saturation that would ensue.
Music is in our DNA, which is why our approach to content has been to make people feel better through songs. People being at home has increased their emotional sensitivity due to the uncertainty and social distancing we’ve all had to partake in. That’s why we started by offering live music concerts to people through our Anghami Instagram account, with various artists across the region. To date, we’ve hosted over 50 live gigs. From bedroom to bedroom, we broke down the walls of performance, stripping bare the artist to their natural habitat. These sessions have ranged from popular artists such as Adonis to up and coming talent such as Malak Husseiny.
This ability to swiftly create content through Anghami Studios meant we could step into the TV world, that can’t currently operate in the same way as before, as social distancing negates capabilities to record and produce high-quality content. A great example of how we helped, with MBC, by supporting them to produce content that would usually go on TV with A-Class artists. What would traditionally be portrayed as a live on-stage performance, has become content, where artists perform from their houses. That content is then disseminated on TV and on Anghami, with a new video, every day, during the month of Ramadan. It has shown that premium content can transform into something more grassroots, and with quick turnaround times, with various parties working across different countries. With another activation we’ve even had artists perform separately in different regions, to come together and create two songs thanking health workers for their help during the pandemic.
As our capabilities to produce high-quality content cemented, we offer these resources to Mohammed Ben Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiative, in their efforts to raise awareness and funds for COVID Relief. This manifested into an original song, with the collaboration of artists Khalifa & Mojo, performing in both English & Arabic, called Stronger Together. It specifically aligned with The World Tallest Donation Box initiative, by the MBRF, which projected imagery on the Burj Khalifa, with the song playing at the same time. This song was created with Dolby’s new powerful tool Dolby On, that allows artists to create production-quality records, directly from their smartphone, but without the high cost or logistics of booking a studio.
It will be interesting to observe how brands advertise in this new era. It’s clear that content, especially interlaced with music can land well. Brands who step into this space now, are likely to benefit in the long term. It’s why with Anghami Studios, we’ve shifted our commercial approach to support content creation, as a key offering. This will include song & music video production, to begin with, and for brands who are more risk-averse; remixes and mash-ups. Brands like Pepsi & Galaxy Dates (a Mars Company) have delved into this already, and we’re ready and waiting to bring the sounds of more brands to life, here at Anghami.
We believe content is no longer an additional layer, but a pre-requisite. And what better way to tell a story than music?